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for  the  Xibrar? 
of  tfce 

of  Toronto 
out  ot  tbe  proceeds  of  the  tunfc 

bequeatbefc  b^ 
B*  ipbillipe  Stewart,  B.B 

OB.    A.D.    1892 


First  Edition,  March  6,  1907 
Reprinted,  August,  1908 
Reprinted,  August,  1910 






Poets  Series 


MRS.  I.  K.  LLOYD 



W.  M.  ROSSETTI  (2  vols.) 










1s.   NET  PER  VOL. 




The  Soul's  Destroyer 

Love's  Coming 

In  a  Lodging  House 

Autumn    . 

Sleep        . 

Death       . 

Beauty's  Light 

Lines  to  a  Sparrow  . 

A  Drinking  Song 

Love  Absent    . 

The  Prover 

Saints  and  Lodgers  . 

The  Lodging  House  Fire 

The  Hill-side  Park 


xx  vi. 


London  !     What  utterance  the  mind  finds  here  ! 

In  its  academy  of  art,  more  rich 

Than  that  proud  temple  which  made  Ophir  poor, 

And  the  resources  famed  of  Sheba's  Queen. 

And  its  museums,  hoarding  up  the  past, 

With  their  rare  bones  of  animals  extinct ; 

And  woven  stuffs  embroidered  by  the  East 

Ere  other  hemispheres  could  know  that  Peace 

Had  trophies  pleasanter  to  win  than  War  ; 

The  great  man,  wrought  to  very  life  in  stone — 

Of  genius,  that  raises  spirits  that 

It  cannot  lay  until  their  will  is  wrought — 

Till  in  their  eyes  we  seek  to  wander  awed, 

Lost  in  the  mind's  immensity,  to  find 

The  passage  barred,  the  spirit  gone  away. 

And  not  without  sweet  sounds  to  hear  :  as  I 

Have  heard  the  music,  like  a  hiding  child, 

Low  chuckling  its  delight  behind  a  wall, 

Which,  with  a  sudden  burst  and  joyous  cry, 

Out  leapt  and  on  my  heart  threw  its  sweet  weight — 

When  strolling  in  the  palace-bounded  parks 

Of  our  great  city  on  a  summer's  morn. 

Now,  one  who  lives  for  long  in  London  town 

Doth  feel  his  love  divided  'tween  the  two — 

A  city's  noise  and  Nature's  quiet  call  : 


His  heart  is  as  a  mother's,  that  can  hear 

Voices  of  absent  children  o'er  the  sea 

Calling  to  her,  and  children's  words  at  home. 

E'en  when  old  Thames  rolls  in  his  fog,  and  men 

Are  lost,  and  only  blind  men  know  their  way  ; 

When  Morning  borrows  of  the  Evening's  lamps, 

Or  when  bewildered  millions  battle  home 

With  stifled  throats,  and  eyes  that  burn  with  pain — 

Still  are  there  lovers  faithful  to  such  moods. 

But  in  thy  slums,  where  I  have  seen  men  gaunt, 

In  their  vile  prisons  where  they  wander  starved 

Without  a  jailer  for  their  common  needs — 

Heard  children  whimper  to  their  mother's  moan  ; 

Where  rich  ones,  had  they  love,  with  willing  hands, 

Have  privilege  to  win  their  godhead  soon 

By  charity  that's  needless  in  new  realms — 

Oh,  who  can  love  thy  slums  with  starving  ones  ! 

Where  children  live,  like  flowers  in  Ocean's  dells, 

Un visited  by  light  or  balmy  wind : 

As  daffodils,  that  plead  with  their  sweet  smiles 

Our  charity  for  their  rude  father  March. 

Thy  place  is  in  the  slums,  O  Charity, 

These  are  thy  churches  for  thy  visitings-; 

The  charity  that  seeks  is  nobler  far 

Than  charity  that  must  at  home  be  sought. 

This  London  served  my  life  for  full  five  years. 


In  sheer  disgust  to  know  intemperance 

And  poverty,  and  leaning  to  the  sot 

Who  lays  this  precious  intellect  to  sleep, 

As  though  no  beauty  was  in  all  the  world, 

With  heaven  and  earth  scarce  worthy  of  a  thought, 

And  helpless  grown  of  every  future  joy — 

Methought  return  to  Nature  might  restore 

Youth's  early  peace  and  faith's  simplicity. 

Though  Hope  be  an  illusion,  yet  our  life 

Were  never  so  bewildered  as  without  it ; 

An  April  day  of  sunny  promises 

When  we  are  suffering  actual  cold  and  want, 

And  child  of  Discontent — without  such  hints 

Of  coming  joy  Life's  name  were  Vanity. 

Hopeless  had  I  become,  a  wreck  of  men  ; 

A  derelict  that  neither  sinks  nor  floats, 

Is  drifting  out  of  sight  of  heaven  and  earth, 

Not  of  the  ways  of  men,  but  in  their  ways. 

And  there  lived  one,  now  to  another  wed, 

Whom  I  had  secret  wish  to  look  upon, 

With  sweet  remembrance  of  our  earlier  years. 

Her  presence  then  a  pool  of  deep  repose 

To  break  Life's  dual  run  from  Innocence 

To  Manhood,  and  from  Manhood  unto  Age, 

And  a  sweet  pause  for  all  my  murmuring  ; 

Until  a  way,  for  which  is  no  account, 


Set  me  to  run  again,  and  she  received 
Into  her  favour  one  who  was  my  friend. 
Oft  had  I  mourned  those  days  for  ever  gone 
We  went  together  side  by  side  to  school, 
Together  had  our  holidays  in  fields 
Made  golden  by  June's  buttercups  ;  in  woods, 
Where  under  ferns  fresh  pulled  I  buried  her, 
And  called  her  forth  like  Lazarus  from  the  grave ; 
She'd  laughing  come,  to  shake  her  curls  until 
Methought  to  hear  full  half  a  hundred  bells. 
A  grown-up  world  took  playful  notice  soon, 
Made  me  feel  shame  that  grew  a  greater  love  ; 
She  was  more  chary  of  her  laughter  then, 
And  more  subdued  her  voice,  as  soft  and  sweet 
As  Autumn's,  blowing  through  his  golden  reeds. 
In  her  sweet  sympathies  she  was  a  woman 
When  scarcely  she  was  more  than  child  in  years ; 
And  yet  one  angry  moment  parted  us, 
And  days  of  longing  never  joined  us  more. 

One  morning  I  awoke  with  lips  gone  dry, 

The  tongue  an  obstacle  to  choke  the  throat, 

And  aching  body  weighted  with  more  heads 

Than  Pluto's  dog  ;  the  features  hard  and  set, 

As  though  encased  in  a  plaster  cast ; 

With  limbs  all  sore  through  falling  here  and  there 


To  drink  the  various  ales  the  Borough  kept 

From  London  Bridge  to  Newington,  and  streets 

Adjoining,  alleys,  lanes  obscure  from  them, 

Then  thought  of  home  and  of  the  purer  life, 

Of  Nature's  air,  and  having  room  to  breathe, 

A  sunny  sky,  green  field,  and  water's  sound  ; 

Of  peaceful  rivers  not  yet  fretful  grown 

As  when  their  mouths  have  tasted  Ocean's  salt ; 

And  where  the  rabbits  sit  amid  their  ferns, 

Or  leap,  to  flash  the  white  of  their  brown  tails. 

Less  time  a  grey  crow  picks  the  partridge  clean, 

I  was  apparelled,  and,  with  impulse  that 

Was  wonderful  in  one  of  many  sprees, 

Went  onward  rapidly  from  street  to  street. 

I  still  had  vision  clear  of  Nature's  face, 

Though  muddled  in  my  senses  to  the  ways 

And  doings  of  the  days  and  nights  before. 

I  heard  the  city  roaring  like  a  beast 

That's  wronged  by  one  that  feared  an  open  strife 

And  triumphed  by  his  cunning — as  I  walked. 

It  followed  on  for  hours  with  rushing  sound, 

As  some  great  cataract  had  burst  all  bounds 

And  was  oncoming  with  its  mingled  pines — 

The  fallen  sentinels — to  choke  the  sea. 

Once  in  awhile  the  sound,  though  not  less  near, 

Seemed  distant,  barred  by  dwellings  closely  joined, 


But  at  a  corner's  turn  heard  full  again ; 

Yet  lessened  soon  and  sure  to  softer  ways 

Of  a  low  murmuring — as  though  it  found 

Anger  was  vain,  and  coaxed  for  my  return. 

All  day  walked  I,  and  that  same  night,  I  scorned 

The  shelter  of  a  house,  lay  peaceful  down 

Beneath  the  glorious  stars  ;  beneath  that  nest 

Of  singing  stars  men  call  the  Milky  Way  ; 

Thought  it,  maybe,  the  way  that  spirits  take, 

And  heavenly  choir  to  sing  triumphal  march 

For  dead  men  for  the  New  Jerusalem. 

I  was  alone  :  had  left  the  Borough  in 

Safe  care  of  my  old  cronies,  who  would  keep 

Its  reputation  from  becoming  changed 

Into  a  quiet  neighbourhood. 

As  with  a  shipwrecked  seaman  cast  ashore, 

And  carried  to  a  land's  interior 

By  the  rude  natives,  there  to  work  and  slave 

Quarries  and  mines  of  their  barbaric  king ; 

Who  after  years  escapes  his  servitude 

To  wander  lost,  at  last  to  see  before 

Him  mountains  which  he  climbs  to  see  beyond, 

When  on  their  top  he  stands — beholds  the  sea ! 

And,  wonders  more,  a  fleet  of  friendly  flags 

Lying  at  anchor  for  his  signalling — 


Such  joy  a  hundred  times  a  day  was  mine 

To  see  at  every  bend  of  the  road  the  face 

Of  Nature  different.     And  oft  I  sat 

To  hear  the  lark  from  his  first  twitter  pass 

To  greater  things  as  he  soared  nearer  heaven  ; 

Or  to  the  throstle,  singing  nearer  home, 

With  less  of  that  abandon  and  wild  fire, 

But  steady,  like  a  sheltered  light  from  wind. 

What  joy  was  mine,  sweet  Nature,  to  return  ! 

The  flower  so  wild,  reared  on  thine  own  pure  milk 

Of  dew  and  rain,  and  by  thy  sunbeams  warmed, 

Speckled  the  green  with  light  of  various  hues ; 

The  hawthorn  it  caught  slippery  Mercury, 

And  smothered  him  to  smell  of  where  he'd  been  ; 

And  everything  that  had  a  voice  made  sound, 

The  speechless  things  were  gladsome  in  dumb  smiles. 

It  was  a  day  of  rest  in  heaven,  which  seemed 

A  blue  grass  field  thick  dotted  with  white  tents 

Which  Life  slept  late  in,  as  'twere  holiday. 

Yon  lord  or  squire  in  his  great  house, 

Who  himself  busies  guessing  all  his  days 

The  age  of  horses  and  the  weight  of  hogs, 

The  breed  of  hounds — not  such  as  he  has  held 

The  ear  to  Nature's  quiet  heart-beat.     No  ; 

He  overlooks  the  flower  to  spy  the  fox, 

Ignores  the  lark's  song  for  the  halloing  horn, 


Nor  hears  the  echo  of  that  horn  he  loves — 

Not  such  as  he  is  rich  in  Nature's  stores. 

I've  seen  proud  Autumn  in  more  gold  arrayed, 

Ere  cold  October  strips  and  blows  him  bare, 

Than  ever  delved  from  earth  or  ta'en  from  water's  wash  ; 

More  pearls  seen  scattered  to  a  summer's  morn 

Than  Ocean  e'er  possessed  in  depths  or  out, 

Though  in  his  water's  workshop — like  a  slave. 

Who  sees  a  cobweb  strung  with  dew  pearls,  sees 

A  finer  work  than  jewelled  crowns  of  gold. 

Few  are  thy  friends,  sweet  Nature,  in  these  days, 

But  thou  art  still  the  Solitary's  love. 

The  glory  of  the  river's  long  since  gone, 

The  land  is  sped  and  beauty  unrevealed. 

The  motor-car  goes  humming  down  the  road, 

Like  some  huge  bee  that  warns  us  from  its  way. 

On,  on,  we  speed  by  fire  on  slippery  rails, 

And  earth  goes  spinning  back  from  whence  we  came, 

And  through  the  trees,  or  on  the  hills'  smooth  tops 

That  cut  the  heaven  clean — the  day's  one  orb 

Goes  with  us  till  he  sinks  before  the  dark, 

Clouds  towering  with  him,  to  his  back  and  front ; 

We  speed  our  way  through  tunnels  under  ground, 

Where  one  sees  naught  but  faces  of  his  kind. 

Let  others  praise  thy  parts,  sweet  Nature  ;   I 

Who  cannot  know  the  barley  from  the  oats, 


Nor  call  the  bird  by  note,  nor  name  a  star, 

Claim  thy  heart's  fulness  through  the  face  of  things. 

The  lonely  shepherd  in  his  hut  at  night 

Will  dream  of  Beauty  in  the  feverous  towns, 

Of  Love  and  Gaiety,  of  Song  and  Dance  ; 

With  fore-paws  on  his  master's  crook,  the  dog 

Sleeps  dreaming  his  life's  duty — though  his  flocks 

Are  countless,  and  the  hills  on  which  they  roam  : 

So  faithful  I  to  thee,  like  shepherd's  dog, 

To  follow  thee  with  joy  in  all  thy  moods, 

As  docile  as  the  lamb  that  Una  led. 

When  man  shall  stand  apart  from  this  dear  world, 

And  have  his  vision's  manifold  increase, 

To  see  it  rolled  at  morning  when  the  sun 

Makes  lamps  of  domes  and  lighthouses  of  fanes, 

With  its  green  fields,  blue  waters,  and  its  hills, 

And  smiling  valleys  filled  with  brooks  and  flowers  ; 

To  hear  the  music  of  the  world  once  his, 

Singing  in  unison  with  other  spheres — 

He  shall  exclaim,  "  I  have  God's  second  heaven 

Ere  I  have  known  the  wonder  of  His  first." 

Six  days  had  gone,  and  I  at  length  near  home, 
Where  toil  the  Cymry  deep  in  sunless  pits, 
And  emptying  all  their  hills  to  warm  the  world. 
Soon  saw  familiar  scenes,  and  saw  no  change  : 


The  rookery,  where  never  silence  seemed — 

For  every  hour  seemed  it  to  be  disturbed 

By  strange  new-comers,  aliens  to  invade ; 

Or,  maybe,  known  ones  bringing  envied  stores 

Which  stay-at-homes  would  clamour  to  divide. 

And  near  that  rookery  a  river  ran, 

And  over  it  a  bridge  too  small  for  piers  ; 

Another  crossing,  of  irregular  stones, 

Was  seen,  which  in  the  springtime  flooded  o'er; 

And  I  had  heard  the  river  tell  their  number, 

And  spell — like  letters  of  an  alphabet, 

That  it  would  never  tire  repeating  day 

And  night.     When  young  I  oft  had  bared  my  feet 

To  go  from  bank  to  bank,  leapt  stone  to  stone, 

My  ankles  wetted  on  a  sunken  one. 

Beyond  the  bridge  was  seen  the  village  spire — 

My  courage  failed.     I  feared  to  see  in  life 

Her  who  was  now  the  heroine  of  dreams, 

And  sweet  familiar  of  my  solitude 

And  silence,  and  whose  shadowy  hand  kept  full 

The  cup  of  memory  ;  and  in  such  mood 

Entered  an  inn,  to  seek  that  courage  which 

Makes  man  abuse  his  friends,  and  wish  them  foes  ; 

Or  puts  unnatural  pity  in  his  mind 

To  help  strange  ones,  forgetful  of  his  own. 

Not  one  known  face  had  met  my  own,  or  voice 


To  recognise,  until  that  moment  came  ; 

And  then  such  sight  to  see  that  had  the  man 

Been  other  than  he  was  had  not  surprised  : 

He  who  had  wed  my  love  stood  shaking  there 

While  to  his  lips  another  held  the  glass 

Which  his  own  hand  lacked  power  to  raise  unspilled  ; 

And  there  stood  he,  in  manner  of  a  beast 

That's  drinking  from  a  trough,  but  more  the  greed. 

We  greeted  as  old  friends  ;  few  moments  passed 

When  I  inquired  of  her,  in  casual  way, 

On  which  a  fearful  change  came  over  him  : 

"  Why,  she  hath  filled  the  house  with  merry  men 

To  mock  her  husband,"  he  replied,  and  turned 

His  head  in  fear.     And  well  I  knew  his  thoughts, 

And  of  such  demons  in  a  drunkard's  dream, 

The  sleepless  dream  that  wearies  flesh  and  brain. 

This  curse  of  drink,  in  village  and  in  town, 
The  curse  of  nations,  their  decline  and  fall, 

Ere  they  can  question  purpose  of  this  life  ; 

And  so  'twill  be  until  the  mind  is  reared 

To  see  the  beauty  that  is  in  the  world, 

Of  science,  art,  and  Nature  at  all  times  ; 

To  know  that  temperance  and  sobriety 

Is  truer  joy — e'en  though  the  grave  ends  all — 

Than  an  unnatural  merriment  that  brings 

A  thousand  tortures  for  its  hundred  joys. 
VOL.  v. — B.  xvii. 

He  now  seemed  worse  and  moved  about  the  room, 

And  many  a  sound  of  triumph,  anguish  made, 

Though  from  his  unseen  foes  receiving  knocks 

And  giving  in  return.     We  stood  in  awe  ! 

One  looked  at  me  and  said  :  "  He  should  be  home, 

And  we  are  much  to  blame  for  him  ;  wouldst  thou 

See  him  safe  there  ?  for  none  can  censure  thee." 

"Nay,  I  would  rather  tread  his  threshold  floor, 

And  dare  all  devils  of  his  fancy  there, 

Than  front  his  wife  and  children  innocent." 

As  some  lone  hunter  might  at  sunrise  see, 

Upon  the  margent  of  a  woodland  pool, 

Huge  prints  of  something  alien  to  his  lore, 

And  know  not  if  'twere  fowl  or  beast,  or  freak 

Of  man — so  awed,  amazed  I  stood ;  until 

He  grew  more  calm,  and  then  we  coaxed  him  home. 

We  reached  his  home,  a  cottage  lone  and  small 

And  such  a  place  was  my  ideal  to  live, 

Where  I  might  walk  it  round,  touch  its  four  sides, 

Free  to  the  sun  in  every  latitude, 

Unto  the  first  and  final  look  on  earth. 

And  at  its  door  three  little  Aprils  played, 

Three  little  children,  little  Aprils  all, 

So  full  were  they  of  April's  strife  and  love  ; 

Who,  when  they  saw  us  coming,  ran  to  meet  us, 


To  make  a  bridal  entry  with  their  laughter  ; 
But  saw  a  stranger,  and  their  father  cold, 
Fell  back,  and  followed  hushed,  a  funeral  train. 
Sure,  thought  I,  our  whole  duty  is  to  leave 
Our  children's  state  exalted  'bove  our  own  : 
Equipping  them  with  kinder  thoughts  than  ours, 
And  they  do  likewise  in  their  day ;  so  through 
The  generations  to  at  last  attain 
The  climax  of  our  mortal  purity. 
Had  I  so  failed  to  these  poor  little  ones 
If  she  and  I  were  sharing  of  their  lives  ! 
We  entered,  and  we  stood  before  her  face, 
And  it  was  stern,  as  woe  affects  the  man, 
Not  that  sweet  resignation  of  her  sex. 
She  looked  on  me  as  one  unjustly  served, 
A  look  regretful,  part  resigned,  as  if 
Some  retribution  was  my  right  to  claim. 
Her  once  blue  sapphire  eyes  had  not  a  gleam, 
As  they  would  never  smile  or  weep  again, 
And  had  no  light  to  draw  the  waters  up 
Which  staled  upon  her  heart.     To  me  all  seemed 
So  plain  :  that  she  had  loved  without  avail, 
And  reasoned,  then  had  widowed  her  own  self, 
A  widowhood  in  which  Death  claimed  no  part. 
All  night  he  raved,  and  in  his  madness  died. 
And  I  have  seen  his  death-look  on  a  beast 
B  2  xix 

Baring  the  teeth  'twas  powerless  to  use 

Against  a  foe  of  greater  strength,  and  there 

Lay  dead,  intentions  hatefully  revealed. 

Such  his  dread  look  :  the  vicious  show  of  teeth 

Made  bare  in  hatred  to  his  unseen  foes. 

Such  is  this  drink  that  fathers  half  our  sins  ; 

It  makes  a  simple  one  responsible 

For  deeds  which  memory  makes  no  count  to  save, 

And  proves  man  guilty  in  his  innocence. 

When  he  shall  stand  before  his  judging  God 

He  needs  must  answer  charges  strange  to  him 

And  his  own  mind — to  One  who  sees  all  things  ; 

And  what  He  sees,  He  never  can  forget. 

May  God  have  mercy  on  our  frailties  ! 

Sure  we,  though  set  a  thousand  years  of  pain, 

Nor  once  should  murmur  at  vicissitude, 

Yet  ill  deserve  those  promises  fulfilled 

Of  an  eternity  of  bliss  with  Him  ; 

And  who  can  know  the  thoughts  of  him  in  hell, 

Who  sacrificed  eternity  of  joy 

To  gratify  this  little  life  on  earth  ! 

Were't  not  for  God  Almighty's  mercy,  trees 

Would  'scape  the  thunderbolt,  th'  unfeeling  rocks 

The  lightning's  blast ;  all  ills  would  fall  on  man, 

Who  hides  his  conscience  in  a  covered  cage, 

As  dumb  and  silent  as  a  moulting  bird. 



An  hour  or  more  she's  gone, 

And  we  are  left  alone, 

I  and  her  bird. 

At  last  he  twittered  sweet, 

To  hear  my  loved  one's  feet, 

And  I,  too,  heard. 

When  she  had  entered, 

He  tilted  then  his  head, 

If  right  or  wrong  ; 

But  when  her  voice  was  heard 

A  frenzy  seized  the  bird 

To  rave  in  song. 

"  Peace,  pet,  my  love  is  near, 

Her  voice  I  cannot  hear 

In  such  a  din  ; 

Thou  couldst  not  call  more  loud 

Unto  a  smiling  cloud 

That  May  hides  in/' 

Now,  what  his  thoughts  could  be — 

If  she  still  spake  and  he 

In  harmony ; 

Or  had  forgetful  grown, 

Enamoured  of  his  own 

Sweet  melody — 


Is  not  my  say  ;  I  know 

I  out  with  her  must  go 

To  hear  her  story. 

We  left  that  raving  thing — 

Made  worse  by  laughter — sing 

Out  his  mad  glory. 



"  Get  to  thy  room/'  a  voice  told  me, 

"  From  sottish  lips  in  blasphemy  "  ; 

And  I  said  this  :  "  If  I  go  there, 

Silence  will  send  me  to  Despair ; 

Then  my  weak  What  I  Am  will  be 

Mocked  by  that  one  I  wish  to  be  ; 

And  leeches  of  regret  will  lie 

On  me  to  palely  stupefy, 

Close  sucking  at  my  heart's  content  " — 

Yet  I  arose,  to  my  room  went. 

I  knew't  :  scarce  off  my  garments  were 

When  came  the  funeral  gathering  there 

To  bury  my  dead  hopes,  as  night 

By  night  to  mock  my  Fancy's  sight. 

There  was  a  meeting-house  adjoined, 

Where  rich  ones,  rare  and  few  of  kind, 

Fed  little  children,  came  to  cheer 

Parents  with  music  sweet  to  hear. 

While  now  I  grieved  a  real  voice  stole 

Into  my  room,  and  sang  this  soul 

To  heaven  from  hell,  though  I  knew  well 

Silence  would  drift  it  back  to  hell 

When  that  sweet  sound  was  heard  no  more. 

She  sang  to  me  a  chanted  shore 

Where  seamaids'  dripping  tresses  spread 


And  made  the  rocks  gold  carpeted  ; 

She  sang  me  back  to  childhood's  way, 

To  fields  with  lambs  to  see  at  play, 

And  sheep  that  coughed  like  men.     Again 

I  saw  quaint  treasures  of  the  main, 

Dried  fishes,  model  ships,  and  shells, 

And  coral  stalks,  and  seaweed  bells, 

In  my  grandfather's  house.     Ah  !  sweet 

To  bear  his  boast  through  school  and  street- 

"  Master  of  my  own  ship  was  I." 

Again  I  heard  his  footsteps  nigh, 

As  to  and  fro  the  passage  dark 

He  walked,  as  though  on  his  own  bark  ; 

When  granny,  I,  a  sister,  brother, 

Huddled  under  cosy  cover. 

Now  have  I  lived  my  score  and  ten, 

Yet  less  my  hope  than  older  men. 

No  collier  bowelled  in  the  earth 

But  Hope  shall  flush  with  rosy  breath  ; 

No  seaman  drowning  in  the  main, 

Nor  traveller  perished  on  a  plain, 

Where  all  is  silent,  and  the  wind 

Prowls  day  and  night  in  vain  to  find 

A  living  thing  to  make  a  moan, 

Or  mountaineer  was  lost — nay,  none 

Of  these  but  Hope  makes  less  afraid, 


And  flatters  to  some  call  for  aid. 

Yet  here  lives  one  a  score  and  ten, 

And  less  his  hope  than  older  men. 

I  cared  not  for  that  singer's  grace, 

If  plain  she  were  or  fair  of  face, 

Or  what  her  station,  age  might  be — 

She  was  a  Voice,  no  more  to  me, 

But  such  an  one,  so  sweet  and  fresh, 

I  made  no  judgment  on  her  flesh. 

It  seemed  a  spirit  there  to  float, 

Alighting  with  such  raptured  note 

That  it  must  ease  its  heart  of.     Oh, 

Woman ;  thy  sweet  voice  none  others  know 

As  those  to  whom  thou'rt  seldom  heard  ; 

Who  have  no  flower  to  tend,  no  bird 

For  pet,  no  child  to  play — to  give 

A  cultured  joy  to  ones  that  live 

In  common  lodging  house.     To  hear 

A  sweet  voice  is  to  me  more  dear 

Than  sound  of  organs,  bands,  or  bells. 

Discordant  bursts  lead  out  soft  swells 

Of  instrumental  harmony — 

Love's  voice  is  from  all  discord  free, 

Here  darkly  die,  die  darkly  here, 

And  lack  e'en  Friendship's  common  tear  ; 

A  wreck  of  men,  one  score  and  ten, 

And  less  thy  hope  than  older  men. 



Autumn  grows  old  :  he,  like  some  simple  one, 
In  Summer's  castaway  is  strangely  clad  ; 
Such  withered  things  the  winds  in  frolic  mad 
Shake  from  his  feeble  hand  and  forehead  wan. 

Autumn  is  sighing  for  his  early  gold, 
And  in  his  tremble  dropping  his  remains  ; 
The  brook  talks  more,  as  one  bereft  of  brains, 
Who  singeth  loud,  delirious  with  the  cold. 

0  now  with  drowsy  June  one  hour  to  be  ! 
Scarce  waking  strength  to  hear  the  hum  of  bees, 
Or  cattle  lowing  under  shady  trees, 

Knee  deep  in  waters  loitering  to  the  sea. 

1  would  that  drowsy  June  awhile  were  here, 
The  amorous  South  wind  carrying  all  the  vale — 
Save  that  white  lily  true  to  star  as  pale, 
Whose  secret  day-dream  Phoebus  burns  to  hear. 



Life's  angel  half,  sweet  Sleep, 

When,  like  the  mermaid,  thou 

In  all  thy  loveliness 

Dost  rise  from  out  the  deep 

Where  Life  is  foul  to  see — 

Men  wake  to  scheme  and  sin, 

But  thou  dost  keep  them  pure 

In  that  sweet  hour  with  thee. 

The  flower  upon  the  hill, 
Where  caves  and  crags  and  peaks 
Carry  the  thunder  on 
After  the  heavens  are  still, 
Knows  thee  :  as  that  cared  flower 
Within  some  sheltering  wood, 
And  houses  built  by  men, 
And  in  my  lady's  bower. 

If  Age  hath  followed  Truth, 

A  conscience  clean  and  pure 

Is  unto  him  as  is 

Sweet  Innocence  to  Youth  ; 

But  Age  and  Innocence 

Dost  thou,  sweet  Sleep,  reward  : 

Thou  givest  rest  to  both, 

To  both  art  recompense. 


Yet  thou  hast  awful  power 
When  thou  art  lying  still 
And  breathing  quietly ! 
Was  it  not  such  an  hour 
Dark  Murder  slunk  away, 
Fearing  thy  innocence 
More  than  the  watchfulness 
Of  men  in  armed  array  ? 

Thou  makest  War  to  cease 
Awhile,  and  armies  pause  ; 
And  in  the  midst  of  strife 
Thou  bringest  them  to  peace  ; 
The  tyrant  must  delay 
The  cruel  deed  at  thy  command  ; 
Oppressed  ones  know  thy  balm 
Can  take  their  fears  away. 



Beauty '11  be  no  fairer  than 

Aged  dame  so  shrunk  and  wan, 

Whom  she  looks  on  proudly.     Now, 

Did  Death  strike  them  sudden  low, 

Strike  them  down,  a  little  while 

Vanished  Beauty's  velvet  smile, 

Ugly  grinner  she,  and  few 

Mark  the  difference  'tween  these  two. 

Nothing  here  shall  arbitrate, 

Chivalry  intimidate, 

Hour  of  doom,  or  change  Death's  laws  ; 

Kings  hire  no  ambassadors. 

Death  makes  monarchs  grinning  clowns, 

Fits  their  skulls  for  bells,  not  crowns. 



Think  not  her  face  is  patched  with  pink, 

Or  is  a  jumbled  mess  to  seem, 

As  berries  red,  that  neither  sink 

Nor  swim  in  shallows  of  pale  cream — 

Oh,  no  !  her  face  it  is  not  white, 

Nor  red,  nor  brown,  nor  dark,  nor  fair, 

Nor  yellow  sure,  though  all  the  light 

Of  gold  and  yellow  flower  meets  there  ; 

So  radiant  is  my  loved  one's  face 

There's  not  one  colour  there  to  trace. 

I  know  not  where  the  light  turns  on  : 

Whether  that  wondrous  ball  of  hair 

And  golden  fire  reflects  upon 

Her  cheeks,  creating  sunbeams  there, 

I  cannot  tell ;  but  it  is  sweet 

Back  of  that  column  white  as  snow 

To  let  my  fingers  link  and  meet 

Under  her  hair  falls,  and  to  know 

Her  mine  ;  where  it  feels  warm  ;  a  nest 

Just  emptied  by  the  birds  at  rest. 

A  thousand  sunbeams  on  each  cheek 
Are  crowding  eager  to  o'erleap 
Her  blue  eye's  fence  rails,  where  they  seek 
To  drown  themselves  in  pools  so  deep  ; 


And  leapt  them  seems  that  many  have, 
Yet,  strange  to  say,  not  one  could  drown, 
But  may  be  seen  afloat  the  wave, 
Bobbing  their  bodies  up  and  down  ; 
And  not  a  beam  that  leapt  the  fence 
Lost  its  soul's  light  in  consequence. 



What  shall  we  call  thee — mouse  o'  the  air, 

To  raid  our  buds,  make  our  trees  bare, 

To  rob  the  sunlight  of  its  grain, 

More  mischievous  than  April's  rain  ; 

To  rob  our  orchards,  and  to  knock 

Young  blossoms  down,  to  spoil  and  pock 

Nature's  fair  face,  in  spite  and  wrath — 

As  he,  thy  brother  of  the  earth, 

Who  creeps  at  night  time  slyly  forth 

To  tear  our  satins,  silks,  and  what 

He  cannot  munch  makes  wanton  rot  ? 

Nay,  not  like  him  art  thou,  for  he 

Doth  from  his  own  poor  shadow  flee, 

And  is  a  fearsome  wretch,  to  show 

A  guilt  his  conscience  should  not  know  ; 

And  so  ridiculous  his  fear 

That  Innocence,  without  a  tear 

Delights  to  prison  him  ;  but  thou 

Art  guiltier  than  we  will  allow. 

It  is  in  wintry  weather  when 

The  robin  turns  a  beggar,  then 

Jays,  pigeons,  steal  the  squirrel's  store  ; 

But,  when  the  winter's  stress  is  o'er, 

They  are  dishonourable  no  more — 

Yet  thou  art  thief,  despoiler  ever, 


Through  sunny  and  through  stormy  weather. 
Time  was  thou  didst  perform  great  work, 
And  slay  slugs,  bugs,  and  things  that  lurk 
In  pioneer's  path  ;  of  late 
Thou  hast  incurred  our  mortal  hate, 
And  we  would  hunt  thee  out  of  life — 
Were't  not  for  such  unequal  strife  ; 
Our  gins  and  traps,  we  must  confess, 
Are  vain,  and  powder  powerless  ; 
And  all  our  cunning  arts  are  vain, 
The  triumph  thine,  and  ours  the  pain. 
Man  cannot  shake  thee  off :  as  though 
A  billow  reared  and  plunged  to  throw 
The  wind  that  on  its  arched  crest 
Jockeyed  from  shore  to  shore,  and  rest 
Not  for  a  moment  gave — e'en  so 
Thy  triumph  none  can  overthrow. 
With  all  this  fuss  of  thee,  I  doubt 
Thou  art  all  bad,  as  men  make  out ; 
Not  Cocky  Sparrow,  nor  Jim  Mouse, 
O  foolish  man,  that  robs  thy  house  : 
If  thou  wouldst  know  what  takes  thy  feed, 
Set  trap  for  hand  of  human  greed  ; 
'Tis  not  that  sparrows,  mice  are  sly — 
On  men  who  govern  men  keep  eye. 
Brown  Sparrow,  with  us  everywhere, 
VOL.  v.— c.  xxxiii. 

Go,  multiply  without  a  care  : 
When  larks  sing  over  fields  unroamed, 
And  sealed  woods  by  night  are  stormed, 
Surrendering  unto  nightingales — 
When  cuckoos  call  to  hills  from  vales, 
Thou,  Sparrow  mine,  art  here  and  near, 
To  find  all  times,  come  year,  go  year. 



A  Bee  goes  mumbling  homeward  pleased, 

He  has  not  slaved  away  his  hours  ; 

He's  drunken  with  a  thousand  healths 

Of  love  and  kind  regard  for  flowers. 

Pour  out  the  wine, 

His  joy  be  mine. 

Forgetful  of  affairs  at  home, 

He  has  sipped  oft  and  merrily; 

Forgetful  of  his  duty — Oh ! 

What  can  he  say  to  his  queen  bee  ? 

He  says  in  wine, 

"  Boo  to  her  shrine  ! " 

The  coward  dog  that  wags  his  tail, 
And  rubs  the  nose  with  mangy  curs, 
And  fearful  says,  "  Come  play,  not  fight," 
Knows  not  the  draught  to  drown  his  fears  ; 
Knows  not  the  wine, 
The  ruby  shine. 

Poor  beggar,  breathless  in  yon  barn, 
Who  fears  a  mouse  to  move  thy  straw, 
Must  Conscience  pester  thee  all  night, 
And  fear  oppress  with  thoughts  of  law  ? 
O  dearth  of  wine, 

No  sleep  is  thine, 
c  a  xxxv. 

Is  Bacchus  not  the  god  of  gods, 

Who  gives  to  Beauty's  cheeks  their  shine  ? 

O  Love,  thou  art  a  wingless  worm  ; 

Wouldst  thou  be  winged,  fill  thee  with  wine  ; 

Fill  thee  with  wine, 

And  wings  be  thine. 

Then,  Bacchus,  rule  thy  merry  race, 
And  laws  like  thine  who  would  not  keep  ? 
And  when  fools  weep  to  hear  us  laugh, 
We'll  laugh,  ha  !  ha  !  to  see  them  weep. 
O  god  of  wine, 
My  soul  be  thine. 



Where  wert  thou,  love,  when  from  Twm  Barium  turned 

The  moon's  face  full  the  way  of  Alteryn, 

And  from  his  wood's  dark  cage  the  nightingale 

Drave  out  clear  notes  across  the  open  sheen  ? 

I  stood  alone  to  see  the  ripples  run 
From  light  to  shade,  and  shade  to  light  in  play ; 
Like  fearsome  children  stealing  guilty  moves 
When  Age  is  dozing — when  thou  wert  away. 

The  banks  of  Alteryn  are  no  less  sweet, 
Nor  Malpas  brook  more  chary  of  his  flowers, 
And  I  unchanged  as  they  ;  but  thou,  dear  love, 
Allowest  Time  to  part  us  with  his  hours. 



If  Life  gives  friends, 

JTis  Death  that  keeps  them  true  : 

When  living  long 

Time  proves  them  false  and  few  ; 

So  Life's  a  boon 

When  Death  is  coming  soon. 

Life  has  no  joy 

Except  we  cherish  some 

Illusive  dream  : 

If  Wisdom  come, 

Life  were  no  boon — 

Did  Death  not  come  more  soon. 

I  loved  a  maid 

Time  has  proved  false  to  be  ; 

Would  Death  had  come 

When  true  that  maid  to  me  ! 

Life  were  a  boon 

Had  Death  been  coming  soon. 



Ye  saints,  that  sing  in  rooms  above, 

Do  ye  want  souls  to  consecrate  ? 

Here's  "  Boosy  "  Bob,  "  Pease  Pudding  "  Joe, 

And  "  Fishy  Fat,"  of  Billingsgate. 

Such  language  only  they  can  speak, 
It  juggles  heaven  and  hell  together  ; 
One  threatens,  with  a  fearful  oath, 
To  slit  a  nose  like  a  pig's  trotter. 

Here's  sporting  Fred,  swears  he  is  robbed, 
And  out  of  fifteen  shillings  done 
By  his  own  pal,  who  would  not  lend 
Sixpence  to  back  a  horse  that  won. 

Here's  Davie,  he's  so  used  to  drink, 
When  sober  he  is  most  bemuddled  ; 
He  steers  his  craft  with  better  skill, 
And  grows  quite  sly  when  he  is  fuddled. 

Here's  "  Brummy  "  Tom,  a  little  man, 
Who  proudly  throws  his  weight  in  drink ; 
He  knows  men  think  him  poor  when  sober, 
And  then,  ashamed,  to  bed  doth  slink. 

The  "  Masher  "  who,  by  his  kind  deeds, 
The  friendship  of  our  house  hath  lost ; 
He  lent  out  cash  that's  not  repaid — 
They  hate  him  worst  who  owe  him  most. 


Here's  "  Irish  "  Tim,  outspoken  wretch, 
Insult  him,  he  is  thy  staunch  friend  ; 
But  say  "  Good  morning,"  civil  like, 
He'll  damn  thee  then  to  thy  life's  end. 

What  use  are  friends  if  not  to  bear 
Our  venom  and  malicious  spleen  ! 
Which,  on  our  life  !  we  dare  not  give 
To  foes  who'll  question  what  we  mean. 

Come  down,  ye  saints,  to  old  "  Barge"  Bill, 
And  make  his  wicked  heart  to  quake, 
His  stomach  nothing  can  upset, 
He  boils  his  tea  an  hour  to  make. 

Ye  saints  above,  come  to  these  sinners : 
To  «  Sunny  "  James,  and  "  Skilly  "  Bob, 
"  The  Major,"  "  Dodger,"  "  Tinker  "  George, 
And  "  Deafy,"  he's  the  lodgers'  snob. 

Here's  "  Yank,"  we  call  "  All  Legs  and  Wings,' 
He's  so  erratic  in  his  motion  ; 
And  poor  wee  "  Punch,"  a  sickly  man — 
He's  worse  when  he  hath  ta'en  his  lotion. 

"  Haymaker  "  George,  a  pig  for  pickles, 
And  "  Brass  "  for  old  clay  pipes  swops  new  ; 
Here's  "  Balmy"  Joe,  he's  cursed  clean, 
Sweeps  beetles  in  one's  mutton  stew, 

"  Australian  "  Bill,  ta'en  sick  away, 
Came  home  to  find  his  wife  hath  slid 
To  other  arms  ;  he's  done  with  Liz, 
But  in  his  heart  he  wants  the  kid. 

Here's  Jack,  so  mean  he  begs  from  beggars, 
Who  make  scant  living  door  to  door ; 
Here's  "  Slim,"  a  quiet  man  awake, 
Whose  sleep's  a  twenty-horse-power  snore. 

Here's  "  Sailor,"  pacing  to  and  fro, 
Twice  on  his  four  hours'  watch  to  see ; 
Ten  paces  forward,  ten  go  aft — 
A  silent  man  and  mystery. 

"  The  Watchman  "  takes  twelve  naps  a  day 
And  at  each  wake  his  mouth  is  foul ; 
When  he  shall  wake  from  his  last  sleep 
He'll  have  good  cause  to  curse  his  soul. 

Here's  gentle  Will,  who  knows  most  things, 
Throws  light  on  Egypt  and  the  Nile — 
And  many  more  to  consecrate, 
If,  Christian  folk,  ye  think  worth  while. 

Toy-sellers,  fish-men,  paper-men, 
A  few  work  barges,  few  are  cadgers ; 
Some  make  up  flowers  from  wire  and  wool, 
Some  pensions  take — such  are  our  lodgers. 


My  birthday — yesterday, 
Its  hours  were  twenty-four  ; 
Four  hours  I  lived  lukewarm, 
And  killed  a  score. 

I  woke  eight  times  and  rose, 
Came  to  our  fire  below, 
Then  sat  four  hours  and  watched 
Its  sullen  glow. 

Then  out  four  hours  I  walked, 
The  lukewarm  four  I  live, 
And  felt  no  other  joy 
Than  air  can  give. 

My  mind  durst  know  no  thought, 
It  knew  my  life  too  well : 
'Twas  hell  before,  behind, 
And  round  me  hell. 

Back  to  that  fire  again, 
Ten  hours  I  watch  it  now, 
And  take  to  bed  dim  eyes 
And  fever's  brow. 

Ten  hours  I  give  to  sleep, 
More  than  my  need,  I  know  ; 
But  I  escape  my  mind 
And  that  fire's  glow. 


For  listen  :  it  is  death 
To  watch  that  fire's  glow  ; 
For,  as  it  burns  more  red 
Men  paler  grow. 

0  better  in  foul  room 
That's  warm,  make  life  away, 
Than  homeless  out  of  doors, 
Cold  night  and  day. 

Pile  on  the  coke,  make  fire, 
Rouse  its  death-dealing  glow  ; 
Men  are  borne  dead  away 
Ere  they  can  know. 

1  lie  ;   I  cannot  watch 

Its  glare  from  hour  to  hour  ; 
It  makes  one  sleep,  to  wake 
Out  of  my  power. 

I  close  my  eyes  and  swear 
It  shall  not  wield  its  power; 
No  use,  I  wake  to  find 
A  murdered  hour. 

Lying  between  us  there  ! 
That  fire  drowsed  me  deep, 
And  I  wrought  murder's  deed- 
Did  it  in  sleep. 


I  count  us,  thirty  men, 
Huddled  from  Winter's  blow, 
Helpless  to  move  away 
From  that  fire's  glow. 

So  goes  my  life  each  day — 
Its  hours  are  twenty-four — 
Four  hours  I  live  lukewarm, 
And  kill  a  score. 

No  man  lives  life  so  wise 
But  unto  Time  he  throws 
Morsels  to  hunger  for 
At  his  life's  close. 

Were  all  such  morsels  heaped — 
Time  greedily  devours, 
When  man  sits  still — he'd  mourn 
So  few  wise  hours. 

But  all  my  day  is  waste, 
I  live  a  lukewarm  four 
And  make  a  red  coke  fire 
Poison  the  score. 



Some  banks  cropped  close,  and  lawns  smooth  mown  and 


Where,  when  a  daisy's  guiltless  face  was  seen, 
Its  pretty  head  came  sacrifice  to  pride 
Of  human  taste — I  saw  upon  the  side 
Of  a  steep  hill.     Without  a  branch  of  wood 
Plants,  giant-leaved,  like  boneless  bodies  stood. 
The  flowers  had  colonies,  not  one  was  seen 
To  go  astray  from  its  allotted  green, 
But  to  the  light  like  mermaids'  faces  came 
From  waves  of  green,  and  scarce  two  greens  the  same. 
And  everywhere  man's  ingenuity 
On  fence  and  bordering :  for  I  could  see 
The  tiny  scaffolding  to  hold  the  heads 
And  faces  overgrown  of  flowers  in  beds 
On  which  their  weak-developed  frames  must  fall, 
Had  they  not  such  support  upright  and  tall. 
There  was  a  fountain,  and  its  waters'  leap 
Was  under  a  full-quivered  Cupid's  keep. 
And  from  his  mother's  lip  the  spray  was  blown 
Upon  adjusted  rock,  selected  stone  ; 
And  so  was  placed  that  all  the  waters  fell 
Into  a  small  ravine  in  a  small  dell, 
And  made  a  stream,  where  that  wee  river  raved, 
As  gold  his  rocks  and  margent  amber  paved. 


This  park,  it  was  a  miracle  of  care, 
But  sweeter  far  to  me  the  prospects  there  : 
The  far  beyond,  where  lived  Romance  near  seas 
And  pools  in  haze,  and  in  far  realms  of  trees. 
I  saw  where  Severn  had  run  wide  and  free, 
Out  where  the  Holms  lie  flat  upon  a  sea 
Whose  wrinkles  wizard  Distance  smoothed  away, 
And  still  sails  flecked  its  face  of  silver-grey. 


Davies,  William  Henry 
6007       The  soul's  destroyer